Duke Blue Devils Duke junior Matt Jones went down with a little less than eight minutes to go in the first half of the Blue Devils' 74-73 win Wednesday with a sprained left ankle that left him writhing in pain on the court for nearly three minutes. Jones had to be helped off the floor and later returned to the bench on crutches.
Ankle sprains are pretty common in athletes. There are multiple complicated classifications of ankle sprains that exist. We see a variety of high ankle sprain's in football players but the majority of basketball players have either a partial or complete tear of the anterior talofibular ligament (ATF). It is also commonly associated with a tear of the calcaneofibular ligament. This type of injury should be taken seriously and usually in professional athletes we order an MRI right away to assess the extent of the injury. Partial tears are usually treated with rest, immobilization, ice and later on physical therapy. In professional athletes, if the tear is complete, surgical intervention is usually needed. I Usually perform modified Broström procedure on this type of injury. The Broström operation is a repair of ligaments on the outer side of the ankle. It is designed to address ankle instability.
In the general population and non-professional athletes the biggest issue we see, is when people sustain a bad ankle sprain, go to the emergency room, have x-rays obtained, and released without any further instructions since there is no break in the bone. It is extremely important to seek proper medical attention and accurate diagnosis. If an ankle sprain does not properly heal, it can cause chronic lateral ankle instability to the extent that people have constant inversion type injuries and are unable to walk without twisting their ankle.
I always recommend to see a specialist in order to get the best medical care possible. Accurate diagnosis is key and can be properly achieved with musculoskeletal ultrasound that we have in the office at Central Florida Foot and Ankle Center. Call us with any questions or concerns at 863-299-4551.